Samui Wining & Dining
Why Here?

Mauritian-born Marketing and Communications Manager, Nadine Rouget, tells us why Samui is now her home in paradise.


14When you stay at a resort for a week or two, you usually get to know a few members of staff. And they can often make the difference between a good experience and a great one. But there’re dozens of people who work behind the scenes that you rarely get to meet. However, there are many others who are also an integral part of the team. Here we put the spotlight on one such person, Nadine Rouget, who’s the Marketing and Communications Manager for both Chaweng Regent Resort, in Chaweng, and Melati Resort, in Thongson Bay up in the north-eastern corner of Samui.


JP: Hi Nadine, can you tell us a little about your background please?

NR: I was born and raised on Mauritius and grew up speaking French, Creole and later English at school. I’ve spent the last 11 years in Asia; the first five of those were in Shanghai at university where I studied Mandarin followed by two years working in the city, after which I left for Thailand. And I’ve lived on Samui for four years now.


JP: How did your career developed since leaving school?

NR: Right after I graduated, I went to work for ‘Element Fresh’, one of Shanghai’s most successful restaurant groups and was made the Director of Training for the company. After moving to Samui, I worked in marketing for several different companies before taking up my position at Chaweng Regent and Melati in January of 2010. Both resorts are owned by the same company.


JP: Can you tell us about Chaweng Regent and Melati Resorts?

NR: Chaweng Regent, located near the top of Chaweng Beach Road holds 140 keys (rooms and villas), a landmark on Samui. It’s been open now for 20 years and is still one of the island’s most popular resorts. We are currently under renovation which began a few weeks ago and will carry on until mid-December, with an investment of THB 100 million going into building new spa villas and suites. Not only will the renovations improve and modernize the resort, but they’ll also advance and strengthen Samui’s image in Thailand and around the world. Melati Beach Resort & Spa, a 5-star property open for three years now, is one of the island’s leading pool-villa resorts with 77 keys.


JP: Why did you decide to take up this position, and why Samui?

NR: After seven years in China, I really needed a break but didn’t want to move back to Mauritius, so I chose Samui instead. I’d spent time on holiday here and really enjoyed myself and thought that living here would be a welcome respite after working and living in such a busy city in China. And I was right!


JP: Please tell us about your job.

NR: As Marketing and Communications Manager for both resorts, I’m instrumental in making the properties better known on a domestic as well as international level. I work collaboratively with all departments to create marketing materials, and I provide writing and editing support for all outbound communications including all promotional materials, website content and a monthly newsletter.


JP: What are the longer-term challenges that the resorts face over the next 12 months on Samui?

NR: One of the biggest challenges for any resort is attracting first-time travellers to Thailand and Samui. The country has had some political upheaval recently but we’re very optimistic that visitor numbers will increase. Our investment in redevelopment is testament to our belief that Samui has a very bright future.


JP: What skills and attributes do you need to be successful in your job?

NR: Being organized and having an eye for detail, certainly. And being able to work to tight deadlines and manage projects independently. There’re also the cultural aspects of working abroad though, as I’ve been in Asia for so long, I have a good understanding of how both personal and business relationships prosper. As an expat you must embrace every part of your host country and learn new skills, and that is something that I enjoy.


JP: What’s the impression you have about the standards and levels of cuisine on the island as a whole?

NR: Eating on Samui is always interesting. The island as a whole offers both visitors and expats a variety of cuisines at all different levels and prices. I’ve had fun over the years exploring all the choices and there are chefs from all around the world who work here and bring a part of their heritage with them. Thai restaurants come in all shapes and sizes and you could spend a year here and still not have eaten in the majority of them. I also have the advantage of working in two resorts that both have excellent chefs and restaurants with fantastic reputations. I love to cook but just at home; I couldn’t step into the kitchen at the resorts, I think that would be rather daunting and best left to the experts.


JP: Resorts here attract guests from many different countries and cultures; how do you keep everyone happy?

NR: We are fortunate to have two very distinct properties on Samui. Chaweng Regent is well positioned and guests can walk to the shops, bars and restaurants that line the Beach Road. It suits visitors who like to get out and about without having to drive, those who relish the hustle and bustle of a vibrant town but who can also return to a large, tranquil resort on the beach with acres of lush gardens. Melati Resort, on the other hand, is located on a quiet part of the island in a secluded cove and whilst it’s only 15 minutes to Chaweng it seems like a different island. Many of the guests at Melati spend the majority of their time on the beach and around the pool basically relaxing and recharging. It also has an award-winning spa that is always popular and all the facilities and comfort you would expect from a 5-star resort.


JP: When you get some time to yourself, what are some of the things you like to do or experience on Samui to relax?

NR: I enjoy movies, so I’m on the look-out for any new releases at the Tesco-Lotus Cineplex. Most of my free time is spent at home, relaxing and reading, enjoying the views of Bangrak Bay from my porch and the most beautiful sunsets. It’s picture-perfect and I simply love it!


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